Indiana created tax-increment financing districts to build roads, streetlights and other infrastructure in certain areas in the hope of luring more businesses.
But how and where Indiana cities have used that TIF money has been evolving over time.
Communities across Indiana have used TIF dollars to pay for recreational facilities and projects that aren’t actually located in the TIF districts, said attorney Bruce Donaldson, whom Greenwood hired to make the case for TIF funding of the $10 million pool planned for Freedom Park. They’ve also used money from more than one TIF district to pay for a project, the way Greenwood is proposing to do.
Greenwood hopes to spend money from TIF districts around the mall and on the east side to build an aquatic center at Freedom Park, on the southwest side of town. Residents and the superintendents of affected school districts have questioned if it’s appropriate to use that money on a pool that would be miles away from either TIF district and whether that money would be better spent on roads, sewers or other infrastructure that it traditionally pays for.